Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an inventor, who claims to have invented e-mails of the modern day World, has filed a $15 million libel suit against media company Techdirt and its founder Mike Masnick. The case has raised the prospect of Techdirt shutting down even if it wins the case. Dr. Shiva is being represented by Charles Harder, a Beverly Hills attorney famous for winning a libel and privacy invasion suit against media website Gawker, which finally led to its bankruptcy and a $140 million jury verdict. The media is now afraid that a similar fate may await Techdirt, due to the prohibitively high legal costs of the US legal system.
Techdirt had in previous posts questioned Dr. Ayyadurai’s claims of inventing the e-mail service and had said that he was a fake e-mail inventor, a fraudster and his claims to have invented the electronic mailing system were bogus. Mike Masnick, the founder of Techdirt, who has a loyal follower base, is usually vocal about his views, but has chosen to keep quiet about this particular case as he is seen to be on the wrong.
Dr. Ayyadurai’s lawyer, Charles Harder, is an expert on winning cases against media organizations and this case is again been seen as one where legal challenges are being used to shut the media. However, company founders and other executives who are usually at odds with the media have said that the media has for long been posting bogus information about people without any concrete evidence or data to support their news. They have very easily slandered and destroyed reputations of people and have gotten away with it under the garb of the freedom of the press. The press usually can publish anything saying that they cannot disclose their sources as this would be a breach of the freedom of the press.
The press in the United States of America is having a tough time as various polls have shown that people now don’t trust the press as much as they used to. A Gallup poll published in September 2016 has said that only 32 % of all Americans feel that the press publishes real information and not their opinions.